Low-carb? Keep fruits and veg­gies

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - Movies - Dr. PKaeui l th DoRnoahcuhe Write to Dr. Roach at [email protected] med.cor­nell.edu or mail to 628 Vir­ginia Dr., Or­lando, FL 32803.

Dear Dr. Roach: Would you be so kind as to send me a copy of your rec­om­mended low-car­bo­hy­drate diet? I would like an ex­pert diet on which to base my food se­lec­tion. — K.H.

There is no spe­cific diet I feel com­fort­able rec­om­mend­ing for ev­ery­one. For people who want a lower-carb diet, I rec­om­mend elim­i­nat­ing pro­cessed starches, like white bread, pasta and rice, while con­tin­u­ing to eat veg­eta­bles and fruits. There is very good ev­i­dence that a plant-based diet, with no more than mod­er­ate amounts of an­i­mal pro­tein, is a healthy over­all diet for most people. In­creas­ing fats from olive, nut and veg­etable oils is rea­son­able, and there is some data to show this may help with weight con­trol and to pre­vent and treat diabetes. A di­eti­tian nu­tri­tion­ist is an ex­pert in help­ing cre­ate a per­son­al­ized diet.

Dear Dr. Roach: As I’ve aged, I find sleep­ing to be more and more dif­fi­cult. When I take a prod­uct whose chief in­gre­di­ent is diphen­hy­dramine, I sleep well with no side ef­fects, but I worry about long-term con­se­quences. Is this safe to take daily? — T.C.

Most people take diphen­hy­dramine and have no prob­lems; how­ever, I still don’t rec­om­mend it, es­pe­cially for older people. These drugs in­crease the risk of fall­ing, lead to a higher risk of mo­tor ve­hi­cle col­li­sions, and may cause symp­toms of con­fu­sion and dry mouth. When­ever pos­si­ble, I rec­om­mend avoid­ing med­i­ca­tion and fo­cus­ing on be­hav­ioral tech­niques that have been proven ef­fec­tive: have a reg­u­lar sleep sched­ule; avoid al­co­hol and caf­feine near bed­time; and don’t use bright lights or com­puter screens be­fore bed. Fi­nally, many older adults need less sleep. If you are sleep­ing fewer hours than you think you should be but aren’t sleepy dur­ing the day, then you are prob­a­bly get­ting enough sleep.

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